The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India
In this work of impressive scholarship, Sheldon Pollock explores the remarkable rise and fall of Sanskrit, India's ancient language, as a vehicle of poetry and polity. He traces the two great moments of its transformation: the first around the beginning of the Common Era, when Sanskrit, long a sacred language, was reinvented as a code for literary and political expression, the start of an amazing career that saw Sanskrit literary culture spread from Afghanistan to Java. The second moment occurred around the beginning of the second millennium, when local speech forms challenged and eventually replaced Sanskrit in both the literary and political arenas. Drawing striking parallels, chronologically as well as structurally, with the rise of Latin literature and the Roman empire, and with the new vernacular literatures and nation-states of late-medieval Europe, The Language of the Gods in the World of Men asks whether these very different histories challenge current theories of culture and power and suggest new possibilities for practice.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - uma1 - LibraryThing
This highly academic work will be appealing only to those who are interested in pre-modern India, Sanskrit, the Sanskrit culture, and influence of Sanskrit on the many 'local' cultures of India and ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
aesthetic Apabhramsha Asian beginning Bhoja Brahmans Brajbhasha Buddhist C1zukya çaka century chapter CO!a Common Era composed conceptual constituted cosmopolis cosmopolitan court courtly cultural-political culture and power culture-power Daâbin deéE discourse domain dynasty earlier early epic epigraphical erary Europe example existence expression fact genre grammar guage Gujarat idiom India inscriptions Jain Java k1vya kakawin Kaly1âa Kannada Karnataka Khmer king king’s languages of Place later Latin linguistic literary culture literary language literate literature M1rgam Magadha Mah1bh1rata Maharashtra Marathi medieval millennium modern mopolitan nacular narrative nation oral Pallava Patañjali philological poem poetry poets political practices praéasti Prakrit premodern South Asia produced R1jaéekhara R1m1yaâa record regional religious Roman royal Samudragupta Sanskrit cosmopolis Sanskrit culture Sanskrit language Sanskrit literary scholars sense Shudra skrit social South Asia Southeast southern Asia space sphere style Tamil Telugu textual theory tion tradition transformation transregional Veda verse western words writing written